In an earlier post I wrote about proper exposure and the recommended IRE levels for different cameras, including Arri, Canon C300, Canon 5D Mark III, and the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera. In this post I want to write about my experiences while working with the Panasonic AF-100.
Late last summer I took the AF-100 and the 5D Mark III into the studio to see if I could create a picture profile that most closely matched with the picture profile I was already using on the 5D. Rather than recap that test, let me just point you to this blog post I wrote after finishing the test.
Although initially pleased with the picture profile I created, the more I shot with it, the more I felt like something wasn't quite right. Whenever I would grade footage from the AF-100, I found that I couldn't hold the highlights as much as I wanted. It was very easy to overexpose a shot. I needed more gradual roll-off into the highlights.
In my earlier test, I started with a picture profile published by Abel Cine. So, I went back to the well once again to see what I could find. I dialed in a profile setting labeled RANGE. I also dialed in another profile setting I found in another forum, and labeled it FLAT. I took the camera outside and shot three quick tests, using the three different picture profile settings.
When reviewing the footage, I found that each profile gave me good dynamic range, but the RANGE profile in particular stood out to me because there seemed to be a more gradual roll-off into the highlights. But finding a picture profile I was happy with was only part of the equation.
Usually I keep my zebras at 75%, allowing only slight striping to occur on the cheekbones and nose of my subject. However, I've learned that 75 IRE is too high when shooting with the AF-100. Blooming can occur very quickly, which presents difficulty when trying to grade the footage in post. See the below frame grab as an example: